Hackney boy Phillips Idowu gets MBE in Queen’s birthday honours list

Hackney-born athlete Phillips Idowu is used to taking enormous leaps as he competes on the world stage.

But he jumped for joy instead this weekend when was recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list.

The 32-year-old, who grew up on an estate in the borough and went to Raine’s Foundation School in Bethnal Green, was awarded an MBE as part of the celebrations on Saturday (June 11).

The Olympic triple jumper, who dreams of winning the gold at London 2012, was praised for his services to athletics.

Phillips has won every major triple jump title except the Olympic gold - and he missed that by only five centimetres in 2008.

He told the Gazette: “I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded an MBE in the Queens birthday honours this year.

“It means a lot to get this extra boost ahead of the Olympics in 2012. I look forward to putting on my finest for a day at the palace.”

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Phillips now lives in Birmingham as he trains for the world event next year, but his family still live in Homerton and Dalston.

Other figures honoured in this year’s list included Bruce Forsyth, who finally received a knighthood after years of media speculation, and Colin Firth, who was made a CBE alongside singer Bryan Ferry.

Phillips will now join the rest of the gong gang at Buckingham Palace for a posh presentation ceremony.